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Alec Solow’s Designed

port folio

This portfolio marks the beginning of my journey to a successful career in the architectural industry, something that I have the utmost dedication in achieving and, with no doubt in my mind, will be my life’s craft. Please enjoy and thank you for viewing.

Table of Contents



Architectural Studio two Fall 2010

Digital Fabrciation Studio Spring 2012

Birthing Center


Sports and Culture Center Architectural Studio three Spring 2011


Prefabricated Housing

Architectural Studio four Fall 2011


Fashion Studio

Architectural Studio three Spring 2011

Hanging Fabrication

Alec Solow’s Design for a

Birthing Center

Professor : Stephen Eckert Course : Architectural Design Studio 2 Date : Fall 2010 Site Location : Boulder, Colorado

The development of the birthing room as a module began the center’s design. In creating the birthing room, lighting and it’s manipulation played a defining part in the design’s development. Techniques within materiality and structure, diffused and controlled direct light to give way for a warm and pleasant aura. Following the birthing room’s design, the same techniques are mirrored throughout the center. A creek that runs parallel to the center is given presence and adds to a comforting environment.


Birthing Room

The design is focused around privacy and intimacy so a home-like comfort can be enjoyed by families. *All plans were drawn with ink on mylar.

Spacial Programming • Rectangular plan opens on one side to create a sense of privacy and security. • Voided side bows outward to maximize views of creek.



5 6

4 B

• Open space connecting the bed and common area allows visitor interaction without crowding the birthing woman.


Floor Plan Material To soften the interior and further intimacy, translucent fabric is used in the bed and birthing tub spaces.



1 Entry 2 Common Area 3 Balcony

Precedence (below): Synagogue, designed by Rena Wandel-Hoefer and Wolfgang Lorch, uses golden chain-mesh curtains to illuminate interior.

Section A

Interior Elevation B

Interior Elevation C

4 Bed 5 Birthing tub 6 Restroom

Light Study An ambient glow is achieved when light diffuses through the fabric. Birthing tub (left), bed (right).

The 4 birthing units are placed along the creek on the upper floor to allow for natural views.

Site Image

This perspective of the main common area was hand drafted and rendered with graphite on vellum. Stretching from the 2nd story ceiling, a light column uses the same illuminating fabric used in each birthing room.

To give the natural environment a greater presence, a water feature leads a stream from the inside, past the curtain wall, and into the creek bed.

Birthing Center

The Birthing Center is a resource to a community formed by childbirth. *All plans were drawn with graphite on vellum

Spacial Programming • Relationship to creek and circulation paths were the basis for the programmatic layout. • Most frequently used spaces take creekside priority (multi-purpose, exam, birthing rooms). • Public programs are in the heart of the center to allow easy access to other programs.

Private Birthing room Midwife quarters Office

Semi Public

Site plan

Public Gathering space Kitchen Stairs/Elevator Library Restroom

Multi-Purpose Exam room

2nd Floor plan circulation

2nd floor

1st floor

1st Floor plan


Fabric light column

A downward slope in the ceiling pulls users into the center and leads to the open double-height public area.

Seating around the fabric column indentifies the feature as a node of interaction and gathering within the center.

Hand drafted view of entry. Circulation paths form transparent lanes through the building.

Alec Solow’s Design for a

Sports and Community Center Professor : Michael Asgaard Andersen Course : Architectural Design Studio 3 Date : Spring 2011 Site Location : Frederiksberg, Denmark

The project was split into 2 exterior buildings joined below the ground level to allow the community the ability to walk through the site. This encourages the pedestrian to acknowledge and interact with the center without disturbing their physical path to another destination and acts as a marketing techinique that keeps the community coming back. The low profile and wood materiality of the project sets itself apart from the 5-story brick and concrete surrounding buildings, while the orthagonal nature and continuation of public circulation blends the site with it’s urban environment. Consequently, the transition into the site’s differing atmosphere is that of a smooth one.


Development process 1.

The site is split along the axis to allow circulation through the site. Programmatic sequences


Outdoor spaces are chosen based on sunlight exposure.

3. Public programs are placed beside the outdoor spaces to draw people in. 4. Multi-use sport spaces capture the attention of the public with it’s connection to public and outdoor spaces.

Primary 1. Outdoor Space 2. Public space 3. Support space

Secondary 1. Outdoor Space 2. Public space 3. Multi-use space 4. Support space

Programmatic relationships = physical connection

= visual connection

urban environment outdoor space

public space multi-use space

5. Support programs

support space

join the two exterior buildings together. Transparency


The primary circulation shaft is placed at the center of the site to promote movement within site.

A. Information and B. Rooftop access scheduling kiosk (2) Direct sunlight exposure throughout the year.

Displays center infomation and event schedule.

C. Trellis enclosure Outdoor multi-purpose space.

D. Green roof

Water absorbtion and runoff reduction. Creates oasis-like aura in an urban environment.




The project site is interpreted as a public courtyard enclosed by streets. This idea mirrors the urban landscape that has each block enclosing it’s own private courtyard.



3 1


Ground level







10 5


Lower level 1 2 3 4 5

Information Kiosk Cafe Flexible Gallery Viewing stand Primary Multi-use Space

6 7 8 9 10

Secondary Multi-use Space Reception Desk/lobby Restroom Changing Room Storage

4 7 5

Alec Solow’s Design for a

Prefabricated Ribbon Home Professor : Julee Herdt Course : Architectural Design Studio 4 Date : Fall 2011

A ribbon technique was employed as the building’s main gesture. The design stemmed from the simple notion of fluidity as a strategy for structural integrity, material efficiency, and open space planning. The ribbon as a design tool allows public and private spaces to be separated and distinctly defined while flowing smoothly together. A lofted, techtonic section of the ribbon is designed at a tilt in order to position solar panels for highest efficiency, gather rising hot hair from within the building as heat recovery ventilation, allow cross ventilation and to establish a powerful design aesthetic by allowing building systems and techtonics to lead the process.


Development process

1. The design is based on a small 4’x4’ grid

to allow each prefabricated piece to be transported to the site via flatbed truck.

Green Techniques Solar Panel analysis

The daily energy consumption (in watts) is calculated to determine the photovoltaic panel system.


Distinct separation between public and private space defines mass form.


estimated energy consumption rate building area



An elevated section of the ribbon permits the use of varoius green techniques and thus, creating an aesthetically dramatic connection between two spaces.

4. A single trellis is

designed to carry the load of the lofted ribbon section

800 ft2

1200 w

daily energy consumption

3a. A ribbon technique holds the two spaces together and allows for open planning and structural integrity.

1.5 w/ft2

16 70w PV panels at 2’x4’ fit within the building’s grid and supply nearly all necessary daily energy.


supplied energy per panel # of panels

total energy provided

70 w



1120 w

The solar panels sit atop the lofted ribbon to maximize sun exposure.

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

The HRV system provides fresh air and improved climate control, while also saving energy by reducing heating and cooling costs. Subsequently, the system is able to take advantage of the hot air that gathers in the lofted space.

Cross Ventilation

Unobstructed interior paths allow cool exterior air to move through the home and force warm air out through the lofted segment.


Fresh air is pulled from the exteior and supplied to the interior Stale air is extracted from the interior and released to the exterior



Section A

Section B




2 1


5 7

5 9




Floor Plan 1 2 3 4 5

Entry Living Dining Kitchen Bathroom

6 7 8 9

Mechanical Room Study Closet Bedroom

Spatial Planning

Efficient spacial planning coupled with space saving techniques allowed the 800 sqft home certain amenities such as a study, walk-in closet, and 1-1/2 bathrooms. • The perpendicular nature of the building defines one outdoor space as a private backyard and another as an entry threshhold • A direct siteline to the exterior is seen as one enters, giving notice to the home’s expansiveness. • The office benefits from sitting below the lofted section; a 2’-4’ higher ceiling and an array of sunlight opens the space.


• The half wall between the bedroom and the walk-in closet stops 4 feet short of the ceiling to provide a more spacious feel when lying in bed.

Interior Perspective

a. Pivot Doors (2) Blends indoor space with outdoor space.

Large voids in wall generate spacious perception.

• The public section blurs the kitchen, dining, b. Radiant Floor Heating Concrete floor is an efficient heat conductor. and living room together into an open and Uses less energy than forced air system. connected space. c. Light Shelf

Reflective paint coats the top of the light shelf. Protects interior from harsh summer lighting. HRV vents pass along inside of light shelf.

Alec Solow’s Design for a

Fashion Studio

Professor : Michael Asgaard Andersen Course : Architectural Design Studio 3 Date : Spring 2011 Site Location : Østerbro, Denmark

In order to blend the Fashion studio infill with it’s two traditionally danish neighboring buildings, existing grids, materials, and protrusions were implemented into the project’s design. Primary and secondary programs are defined from the exterior by materiality and from the interior by staggard floors, giving clarity to the buildings form and function. Covering the primary programs, a screen system with mesh louvers are angled in such away that diffuses direct light while allowing unobstructed views of the street. A shimmering aesthetic quality is produced as a result of the screen and is appropriate for a building that serves the fashion community.


Development process 1.

A vertical grid was derived from the neighboring buildings.


An asmymetrical facade gives the primary programs a strong street presence and a unique aesthetic. Site


3. A screen system controls the light that

enters through the large voids on each floor.


The interior mirrors the exterior. Separation of primary and secondary programs are distinct and consistent throughout.




A separate grasshopper script was created for the screen at each level and then combined into one entity. 1 of 5 scripts (below)

Angle from facade

Number of louvers

Length of louvers

Each louver is designed at a specfic angle and size to keep a clear view of the street.

6th Level DN

Primary Exhibition space Store Secondary Bathroom

5th Level UP DN

Primary Meeting space Secondary Kitchen Break room Bathroom

4th Level


Primary 2 Design studios Secondary Computers/printing Bathroom

3rd Level


Primary 2 Design studios Secondary Library Bathroom


2nd Level Primary Fitting/Sewing workshop Secondary Material sample collection Bathroom


Ground Level Primary Exhibition space Store Secondary Changing rooms

Interior Perspective view of the 4th level studio space

Alec Solow’s Design for a

Hanging Fabrication Professor : Marcel deLange Course : Digital Fabrciation Date : Spring 2012 Partners : Jon Farchmin, Natalie von Turkovich, Rachel Prenger

The design of this undulating drop-down ceiling stems from the notions of simplicity and elegance. Defined by a grid, cell units were extruded downward to create a 3 dimensional figure out of 2 dimensional pieces. The resulted organic form is intended to capture the user’s attention in a subtle manner and, subsequently, to define a space as a place of interest.


Development process 1.

Form was developed using Rhinoceros and Grasshopper.

2. The lengths of the dowels, used to hang

the tiles, were calculated in Grasshopper.

Process pictures from top to bottom: • Aluminum sheet before it was cut into tiles at the metal factory. • Masonite dowels laid in order. • 3 base boards attached to the ceiling. • Process of attaching the hanging tiles outward from the middle.

3. Using a laser cutter, the dowels were cut and labeled.

4. A CNC machine carved slits and notches

into 3 masonite base boards.


The aluminum tiles were obtained through a collaboration with Dynamic Metal Fabrication.



Grasshopper script

Length of dowels.


Line geometry of dowels

Assembly process designed for simplicity and ease. Dowel > Base

Tile > Dowel

Slide dowel through the base board.

Slide tile over the dowel.

Twist the dowel 90째.

Twist the tile 90째.

Pull down to secure.

Let it rest on the dowel.

View from directly below.

Architectural Portfolio  

A collection of projects that I completed while attending the University of Colorado.